Curriculum Vita

A Curriculum Vita (CV) is a comprehensive look at an individual’s academic experiences and work history. It helps to provide a potential employer with a well-rounded look into a candidate’s interests, accomplishments, and participation in their field of study.

Resume vs. Curriculum Vita (CV)

A curriculum vita:

  • Demonstrates a candidate’s full professional work history and experiences, therefore has no page limit
  • Is often required for higher education or research positions
  • Is based off of credentials rather than competency
  • Is a comprehensive biographical statement focusing on professional qualifications and activities
  • May include publications and professional presentations

CV Headings:

CV heading can different from those that can be found on a resume, covering a vast array of experiences and accomplishments. However, this is not an exhaustive list and wording can vary depending on your industry.

  • Education
  • Supplemental Education
  • Lab/research Experience
  • Teaching Experience
  • Related Work Experience
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Presentations (can be broken down in to local, regional, and national)
  • Publications
  • Professional Memberships
  • Grants
  • Licensure and Trainings
  • Languages
  • Technology
  • Special Awards and Honors

CV Essentials:

  1. Qualifications that match the job – Identify skills, core attributes, experiences, etc. that show your value to the reader – tell the employer what you can do for them.
  2. Action Verb + Skill + Task =Result – Use this formula for writing bulleted phrases that define your work experience.
  3. Balance – Because CVs can be so long, balance and reading ease are essential.
  • Formatting may vary between industries, check with a faculty member for further guidance
  • Include a header after the 1st page that includes the candidates last name and the page number
  • Recommended font Size: 10-12 pt.
  • Pay particular attention to spacing
  • Be consistent in the use of hyphens, dates, formatting choices, etc.
  • Recommended font Styles: Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial
  • Avoid using or purchasing templates – they are difficult to edit
  • References should appear on a separate page
  1. Error Free

Click here to check out the NDSU Career and Advising Center resume handout and rubrics for further information.  Drop by the Career Studio in Ceres Hall 306 with further questions or to get curriculum vita reviewed!

FAQ’s:

How do I know if I need a CV or a resume? – Many times, an employer will tell you in a job description what document they prefer. Generally, CVs are recommended for those looking into research positions or jobs in academia. If it is not specified in the description, you can always call the employer to ask. Many countries outside of the United States, use the terms, ‘CV’ and ‘Resume’ interchangeably. However, in the United States, they are two, very different, documents.

Should I include a photo on my CV?  –  If applying for positions within the United States, do not include a photo on your CV. However, if applying outside of the United States, do research to determine whether or not a photo is common practice in the countries you are interested in.

Can I make one CV and use it for all the positions I’m applying for? –   Although it is time consuming sometimes, it is worth tailoring every document to the position description in order to show what relevant skills you can bring to the table.  Even if the positions you are applying to are similar, you will still want to be sure to highlight different skill sets and experiences based on the place of employment as well.

I have a lot of experiences. Should I include information that I do not feel is relevant?–  The purpose of a CV is to provide a better understanding of your diverse background. Work to tailor your experiences utilizing bullet points that highlight the skills requested in the job description.

What about my interests? – You can include an “Interests” section on a CV. But, you will want to focus on your interests in your industry, teaching, or research areas. Avoiding personal hobbies is always recommended.